Ayurvedic Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis aims to address acute and chronic conditions with herbal medicines internally and externally. The ayurvedic concept regarding the concept of aetiology of the disease is the toxin accumulation in the blood. So the treatment is aimed to detoxify the body from the very basic level. Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a condition in which the skin becomes red and itchy. It can occur at any age but is more common in children. Atopic dermatitis is having a chronic nature and tends to flare periodically. It is usually associated with asthma or hay fever.
- Signs and symptoms of Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Causes of Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Pathophysiology of Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Diagnosis of Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Treatments of Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Prognosis of Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Complications of Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema) in Ayurveda
- Nidana- Causes of Atopic dermatitis (eczema)- Atopic dermatitis (eczema) – Vicharchika
- Purvaroopam (Premonitory Symptoms)
- Samprapthi (Maturation)
- Lakshana of Vicharchika
- Prognosis of Vicharchika
- Chikitsa (Treatment) of Vicharchika
- Commonly used medicines for Vicharchika
- Diet desirable to prevent Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Research articles link
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms and signs vary from person to person. It includes,
- Severe dryness of skin
- Itching which may get aggravated during the night
- Itchiness is an important factor in atopic dermatitis and scratching and rubbing can worsen the skin inflammation that is characteristic of this disease.
- Red to brownish-grey patches which are especially seen on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside elbows and knees, and in infants the lesions are usually seen on the face and scalp
- Sometimes fluid may leak from the raised lesions
- Cracked, scaly, and thickened skin
- Sensitive swollen skin from scratching
The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is still unknown, but it is believed that a combination of inherited and environmental factors lead to the disease. Healthy skin retains moisture and this protects the skin from allergens, irritants, and bacteria. In the case of atopic dermatitis, the skin loses its ability to retain moisture, and thus it gets affected by environmental factors, irritants, and allergens. This disease is usually seen in persons with a family history of atopic dermatitis, hay fever, or asthma.
The pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis is complex and has multifactorial involvement. This involves elements of barrier dysfunction, alterations in cell-mediated immune responses, IgE mediated hypersensitivity, and environmental factors along with genetic predisposition.
The diagnosis is made by the clinical evaluation of the symptoms and personal and family history. There is no single lab test to diagnose atopic dermatitis. Local examination of the skin is necessary. Patch testing and other tests are done to rule out other skin conditions and the diseases accompanying atopic dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition and needs a combination of treatments in long term to control the symptoms. There is always a tendency to relapse of symptoms. The medications include,
- Topical application of corticosteroid ointments and creams to control itching and inflammation. Frequent application of suitable moisturizing creams is also needed. Antibiotic creams are applied in case of bacterial infections, or if there are any cracks or open sores.
- Oral drug administration includes corticosteroids — such as prednisone and in case of infection short-term oral antibiotics are also given.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved a new, injectable biologic (monoclonal antibody) called dupilumab (Dupixent). This medicine is used to treat severe disease conditions that do not respond well to other treatment options.
- Wet therapy is a procedure in which the affected area is wrapped with topical corticosteroids and wet bandages.
- Phototherapy involves exposing the skin to controlled amounts of natural sunlight or artificial ultraviolet A (UVA) and narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB). This is done either alone or with medications
Patients with severe, widespread disease and coexisting atopic conditions, such as asthma and allergic rhinitis, are likely to experience poorer outcomes. In the case of infants and small children, they outgrow the condition by early adolescence.
The complications of eczema include,
- Asthma and hay fever- Eczema may sometimes precede this condition especially in the case of children
- Chronic itchy, scaly skin
- Skin infections- repeated scratching can cause open sores or cracks which may get infected.
- Allergic contact dermatitis
- Disturbed sleep- there is reduces sleep due to severe itching
Disease and Ayurveda
Eczema can be correlated to Vicharchika in Ayurveda which is one among eleven Kshudrakushtas.
The causes for the occurrence of skin diseases are generally described as,
- Use of incompatible foods
- Improper use of hot and cold regimens and foods
- Excessive intake of liquid, fatty and heavy foods
- suppression of the emesis and other natural evacuatory reflexes
- drinking cold water immediately after being exposed to the sun, physical exhaustion or fright
- eating again before the previous meal has been digested
- excessive intake of new cereals, yoghurt, fishes and salty and sour foods, (excessive) use of black gram, radishes, eatables prepared from the ground and pasted grains, Sesamum, milk and jaggery
- day sleep,
- persecution of or Brahmin’s teachers, and committing other sinful acts
Purvaroopam- Premonitory Symptoms
The premonitory symptoms of skin diseases include,
- lack of sensations of the skin
- excessive sweating or absence of sweating
- itching, pricking pain
- discolouration and elevation of patches in the skin
- excessive pain, burning sensation and numbness
By the indulgence of causative factors, the three doshas get vitiated which in turn causes vitiation of skin, muscles, blood, and lymph leads to the occurrence of disease.
Lakshana Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of Vicharchika includes,
- blackish brown eruptions on the skin
- itching sensation with exudation
Divisions based on Dosha
There are no types said for Vicharchika kushta
All skin diseases are Krichrasadhya or difficult to manage.
Initially, the treatment includes avoidance of the causative factors and correct the food and daily habits. Mind and body should be maintained healthy.
The specific treatment includes,
- Oleation and sudation followed by emesis and/or purgation
- Bloodletting can be done using leech
- After purificatory procedures, curative drugs can be given internally and external treatments like application of the paste of anti leprotic drugs, dhara with the decoction of suitable drugs, etc. can be done.
Commonly used medicines
- Panchatikthakam kashaya
- Patolamooladi kashaya
- Manjishtadi kashaya
- Tikthakam kashaya
- Gandhaka rasayana
- Arogyavardhini Vati
- Kaisore Guggulu
- Giloy Satva
- Avipathy choornam
- External application of Eladi and Nimbadi choorna in buttermilk
- External application of Danthapaala thaila, Dinesavalyadi Tailam, Nalpamaradi Tailam, Eladi kera,
- Aryavaidyasala Kottakkal
- Vaidyaratnam Oushadasala
- Kerala Ayurveda
- Use moisturizers and aloe vera gel is a good choice
- Use soap that is not too hard, use a skin-friendly one
- Neither use too cold or too hot water for bath
- Regular oil massage is good
- Ideal exercise and maintain body weight
- Always have a light and wholesome diet
- Vegetables with the bitter taste
- Old cereals
- The meat of animals in arid regions, soup with green gram
- Foods like dairy products, citrus fruits, gluten, soya, etc. are supposed to flare up eczema and need to be avoided.
Skin diseases are psychosomatic and hence a healthy mind is to be maintained which can be achieved by the daily practice of yoga.
- Anulom viloma pranayama
- Meditation can be included in daily routine
Research articles link.
Dr. Rajesh Nair , the co-founder and chief consultant of Ayurvedaforall, is a graduate of prestigious Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda College (affiliated to University of Calicut), Kerala, India. Additionally, he holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy from Annamalai University.
Dr. Nair offers consultation at thwo busy clinics in and around in Haripad, Alleppey, Kerala, the southern state famous worldwide for authentic ayurvedic treatment and physicians.While offering consultation on all aspects of ayurvedic treatments Dr. Nair has a special interest in Panchkarma, Yoga, and Massage.
Through Ayurvedaforall Dr. Nair offers online consultation to patients worldwide and has served hundreds of patients over the last 20 years.In addition to his Ayurvedic practice, he is the chief editor of ayurveda-amai.org, the online portal of Ayurveda Medical Association of India and the state committee member of Ayurveda Medical Association of India.
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